The farthest point reached by the attack has been referred to as the high-water mark of the Confederacy. The charge is named after Maj. Gen. George Pickett, Picketts charge was part of Lees general plan to take Cemetery Hill and the network of roads it commanded. His military secretary, A. L. Long, described Lees thinking, sloping westward, formed the depression through which the Emmitsburg road passes. Perceiving that by forcing the Federal lines at that point and turning toward Cemetery Hill would be taken in flank, Lee determined to attack at that point, and the execution was assigned to Longstreet. On the night of July 2, Meade correctly predicted at a council of war that Lee would attack the center of his lines the following morning. The infantry assault was preceded by an artillery bombardment that was meant to soften up the Union defense and silence its artillery. Approximately 12,500 men in nine infantry brigades advanced over open fields for three-quarters of a mile under heavy Union artillery, years later, when asked why his charge at Gettysburg failed, Pickett replied, Ive always thought the Yankees had something to do with it.
Pettigrew commanded brigades from Maj. Gen. Henry Heths old division, under Col. Birkett D. Fry, Col. James K. Marshall, Brig. Gen. Joseph R. Davis, and Col. John M. Brockenbrough. Trimble, commanding Maj. Gen. Dorsey Penders division, had the brigades of Brig, alfred M. Scales and James H. Lane. Two brigades from Maj. Gen. Richard H. Andersons division were to support the attack on the flank, Brig. Gen. Cadmus M. Wilcox. The target of the Confederate assault was the center of the Union Army of the Potomacs II Corps, commanded by Maj. Gen. Winfield S. Hancock. Directly in the center was the division of Brig. Gen. John Gibbon with the brigades of Brig. Gen. William Harrow, Col. Norman J. Hall, and Brig. Gen. Alexander S. Webb. Meades headquarters were just behind the II Corps line, in the house owned by the widow Lydia Leister. The specific objective of the assault has been the source of historical controversy, the copse of trees on Cemetery Ridge has been cited as the visual landmark for the attacking force. Historical treatments such as the 1993 film Gettysburg continue to popularize this view, the copse of trees, currently a prominent landmark, was under ten feet high in 1863, only visible to a portion of the attacking columns from certain parts of the battlefield.
From the beginning of the planning, things went awry for the Confederates. While Picketts division had not been used yet at Gettysburg, A. P. Hills health became an issue, some of Hills corps had fought lightly on July 1 and not at all on July 2. However, troops that had heavy fighting on July 1 ended up making the charge
Mobile is the county seat of Mobile County, United States. Alabamas only saltwater port, Mobile is located at the head of the Mobile Bay, Mobile is the principal municipality of the Mobile metropolitan area. This region of 412,992 residents is composed solely of Mobile County, Mobile is the largest city in the Mobile-Daphne−Fairhope CSA, with a total population of 604,726, the second largest in the state. As of 2011, the population within a 60-mile radius of Mobile is 1,262,907, Mobile began as the first capital of colonial French Louisiana in 1702. During its first 100 years, Mobile was a colony of France, Mobile first became a part of the United States of America in 1813, with the annexation of West Florida under President James Madison. In 1861 Alabama joined the Confederate States of America, which surrendered in 1865, Mobile is known for having the oldest organized Carnival celebrations in the United States. The festival began to be celebrated in the first decade of the 18th century by its first French Catholic colonial settlers.
Mobile was host to the first formally organized Carnival mystic society, known elsewhere as a krewe, to celebrate with a parade in the United States, in 2005 the first integrated mystic society had a parade for Mardi Gras. The city gained its name from the Mobile tribe that the French colonists encountered living in the area of Mobile Bay. The Mobile tribe, along with the Tohomé, obtained permission from the colonists, about seven years after the founding of the Mobile settlement, to settle near the fort. It was founded by French Canadian brothers Pierre Le Moyne dIberville and Jean-Baptiste Le Moyne, Sieur de Bienville, Bienville was appointed as royal governor of French Louisiana in 1701. Mobiles Roman Catholic parish was established on July 20,1703, by Jean-Baptiste de la Croix de Chevrières de Saint-Vallier, the parish was the first French Catholic parish established on the Gulf Coast of the United States. In 1704 the ship Pélican delivered 23 French women to the colony, though most of the Pélican girls recovered, numerous colonists and neighboring Native Americans contracted the disease in turn and died.
This early period was the occasion of the importation of the first African slaves, the population of the colony fluctuated over the next few years, growing to 279 persons by 1708, yet descending to 178 persons two years due to disease. A new earth-and-palisade Fort Louis was constructed at the new site during this time, by 1712, when Antoine Crozat was appointed to take over administration of the colony, its population had reached 400 persons. The capital of La Louisiane was moved in 1720 to Biloxi, leaving Mobile to serve as a regional military and trading center. In 1723 the construction of a new fort with a stone foundation began and it was renamed Fort Condé in honor of Louis Henri, Duc de Bourbon. In 1763, the Treaty of Paris was signed, ending the Seven Years War, by this treaty, France ceded its territories east of the Mississippi River to Britain
William Tecumseh Sherman
William Tecumseh Sherman was an American soldier, businessman and author. Sherman began his Civil War career serving in the First Battle of Bull Run and he served under General Ulysses S. In 1864, Sherman succeeded Grant as the Union commander in the Western Theater of the war and he proceeded to lead his troops to the capture of the city of Atlanta, a military success that contributed to the re-election of Abraham Lincoln. Shermans subsequent march through Georgia and the Carolinas further undermined the Confederacys ability to continue fighting and he accepted the surrender of all the Confederate armies in the Carolinas and Florida in April 1865, after having been present at most major military engagements in the Western Theater. When Grant assumed the U. S. presidency in 1869, Sherman succeeded him as Commanding General of the Army, as such, he was responsible for the U. S. Armys engagement in the Indian Wars over the next 15 years. Sherman advocated total war against hostile Indians to force them back onto their reservations and he steadfastly refused to be drawn into politics and in 1875 published his Memoirs, one of the best-known first-hand accounts of the Civil War.
British military historian B. H. Liddell Hart famously declared that Sherman was the first modern general, Sherman was born in 1820 in Lancaster, near the banks of the Hocking River. His father Charles Robert Sherman, a lawyer who sat on the Ohio Supreme Court. He left his widow, Mary Hoyt Sherman, with eleven children, Sherman was distantly related to American founding father Roger Sherman and grew to admire him. Shermans older brother Charles Taylor Sherman became a federal judge, one of his younger brothers, John Sherman, served as a U. S. senator and Cabinet secretary. Another younger brother, Hoyt Sherman, was a successful banker, Sherman would marry his foster sister, Ellen Boyle Ewing, at age 30 and have eight children with her. Shermans unusual given name has attracted considerable attention. Sherman reported that his name came from his father having caught a fancy for the great chief of the Shawnees. Since an account in a 1932 biography about Sherman, it has often reported that, as an infant.
According to these accounts, Sherman only acquired the name William at age nine or ten and his foster mother, Maria Willis Boyle, was of Irish ancestry and a devout Roman Catholic. Sherman was raised in a Roman Catholic household, though he left the church. Sherman wrote in his Memoirs that his father named him William Tecumseh, Sherman was baptized by a Presbyterian minister as an infant, as an adult, Sherman signed all his correspondence – including to his wife – W. T. Sherman. His friends and family called him Cump
The Union Army was the land force that fought for the Union during the American Civil War,1861 to 1865. It included the permanent regular army of the United States, which was augmented by numbers of temporary units consisting of volunteers as well as conscripts. The Union Army fought and eventually defeated the Confederate Army during the war, at least two and a half million men served in the Union Army, almost all were volunteers. About 360,000 Union soldiers died from all causes,280,000 were wounded and 200,000 deserted. When the American Civil War began in April 1861, there were only 16,000 men in the U. S. Army, and of these many Southern officers resigned and joined the Confederate army. The U. S. Army consisted of ten regiments of infantry, four of artillery, Lincolns call forced the border states to choose sides, and four seceded, making the Confederacy eleven states strong. The war proved to be longer and more extensive than anyone North or South had expected, the call for volunteers initially was easily met by patriotic Northerners and even immigrants who enlisted for a steady income and meals.
Over 10,000 Germans in New York and Pennsylvania immediately responded to Lincolns call, as more men were needed, the number of volunteers fell and both money bounties and forced conscription had to be turned to. Nevertheless, between April 1861 and April 1865, at least two and a million men served in the Union Army, of whom the majority were volunteers. It is a misconception that the South held an advantage because of the percentage of professional officers who resigned to join the Confederate army. At the start of the war, there were 824 graduates of the U. S, Military Academy on the active list, of these,296 resigned or were dismissed, and 184 of those became Confederate officers. Of the approximately 900 West Point graduates who were civilians,400 returned to the Union Army and 99 to the Confederate. Therefore, the ratio of Union to Confederate professional officers was 642 to 283, the South did have the advantage of other military colleges, such as The Citadel and Virginia Military Institute, but they produced fewer officers.
The Union Army was composed of numerous organizations, which were generally organized geographically, Military Division A collection of Departments reporting to one commander. Military Divisions were similar to the modern term Theater, and were modeled close to, though not synonymous with. Department An organization that covered a region, including responsibilities for the Federal installations therein. Those named for states usually referred to Southern states that had been occupied and it was more common to name departments for rivers or regions. District A subdivision of a Department, there were Subdistricts for smaller regions
African Americans are an ethnic group of Americans with total or partial ancestry from any of the Black racial groups of Africa. The term may be used to only those individuals who are descended from enslaved Africans. As a compound adjective the term is usually hyphenated as African-American and African Americans constitute the third largest racial and ethnic group in the United States. Most African Americans are of West and Central African descent and are descendants of enslaved peoples within the boundaries of the present United States. On average, African Americans are of 73. 2–80. 9% West African, 18–24% European, according to US Census Bureau data, African immigrants generally do not self-identify as African American. The overwhelming majority of African immigrants identify instead with their own respective ethnicities, immigrants from some Caribbean, Central American and South American nations and their descendants may or may not self-identify with the term. After the founding of the United States, black people continued to be enslaved, believed to be inferior to white people, they were treated as second-class citizens.
The Naturalization Act of 1790 limited U. S. citizenship to whites only, in 2008, Barack Obama became the first African American to be elected President of the United States. The first African slaves arrived via Santo Domingo to the San Miguel de Gualdape colony, the ill-fated colony was almost immediately disrupted by a fight over leadership, during which the slaves revolted and fled the colony to seek refuge among local Native Americans. De Ayllón and many of the colonists died shortly afterwards of an epidemic, the settlers and the slaves who had not escaped returned to Haiti, whence they had come. The first recorded Africans in British North America were 20 and odd negroes who came to Jamestown, as English settlers died from harsh conditions and more Africans were brought to work as laborers. Typically, young men or women would sign a contract of indenture in exchange for transportation to the New World, the landowner received 50 acres of land from the state for each servant purchased from a ships captain.
An indentured servant would work for years without wages. The status of indentured servants in early Virginia and Maryland was similar to slavery, servants could be bought, sold, or leased and they could be physically beaten for disobedience or running away. Africans could legally raise crops and cattle to purchase their freedom and they raised families, married other Africans and sometimes intermarried with Native Americans or English settlers. By the 1640s and 1650s, several African families owned farms around Jamestown and some became wealthy by colonial standards and purchased indentured servants of their own. In 1640, the Virginia General Court recorded the earliest documentation of slavery when they sentenced John Punch. One of Dutch African arrivals, Anthony Johnson, would own one of the first black slaves, John Casor
Franz Sigel was a German military officer and immigrant to the United States who was a teacher, newspaperman and served as a Union major general in the American Civil War. His ability to recruit German-speaking immigrants to the Union armies garnered the approval of President Abraham Lincoln, Sigel was born in Sinsheim and attended the gymnasium in Bruchsal. He graduated from Karlsruhe Military Academy in 1843, and was commissioned as a lieutenant in the Baden Army and he met the revolutionaries Friedrich Hecker and Gustav von Struve and became associated with the revolutionary movement. He was wounded in a duel in 1847, the same year, he retired from the army to begin law school studies in Heidelberg. In April 1848, he led the Sigel-Zug, recruiting a militia of more than 4,000 volunteers to lead a siege against the city of Freiburg and his militia was defeated on April 23,1848 by the better-equipped and more experienced troops of the Grand Duchy of Baden. In 1849, he became Secretary of War and commander-in-chief of the republican government of Baden.
Wounded in a skirmish, Sigel had to resign his command, in July, after the defeat of the revolutionaries by Prussian troops and Mieroslawskis departure, Sigel led the retreat of the remaining troops in their flight to Switzerland. Sigel went on to England, Sigel emigrated to the United States in 1852, as did many other German Forty-Eighters. Sigel taught in the New York City public schools and served in the state militia and he married a daughter of Rudolf Dulon and taught in Dulons school. In 1857, he became a professor at the German-American Institute in St. Louis and he was elected director of the St. Louis public schools in 1860. He was influential in the Missouri immigrant community and he attracted Germans to the Union and antislavery causes when he openly supported them in 1861. Shortly after the start of the war, Sigel was commissioned colonel of the 3rd Missouri Infantry, Sigels defeat did help spark recruitment for the Missouri State Guard and local Confederate forces. Sigel took part in a skirmish at Dug Springs, throughout the summer, President Lincoln actively sought the support of antislavery, pro-Unionist immigrants.
Sigel, always popular with the German immigrants, was a candidate to advance this plan. He was promoted to general on August 7,1861, to rank from May 17. Sigel conducted the retreat of the army after the death of General Lyon, Sigel was promoted to major general on March 21,1862. He commanded the I Corps in Maj. Gen. John Popes Army of Virginia at the Second Battle of Bull Run, another Union defeat, where he was wounded in the hand. Over the winter of 1862–63, Sigel commanded the XI Corps, consisting primarily of German immigrant soldiers, during this period, the corps saw no action, it stayed in reserve during the Battle of Fredericksburg
P. G. T. Beauregard
Beauregard was a Southern military officer, inventor, civil servant, and the first prominent general of the Confederate States Army during the American Civil War. Today he is referred to as P. G. T. Beauregard. He signed correspondence as G. T. Beauregard, trained as a civil engineer at the United States Military Academy, Beauregard served with distinction as an engineer in the Mexican–American War. He commanded the defenses of Charleston, South Carolina, at the start of the Civil War at Fort Sumter on April 12,1861, three months he won the First Battle of Bull Run near Manassas, Virginia. Beauregard commanded armies in the Western Theater, including at the Battle of Shiloh in Tennessee, and he returned to Charleston and defended it in 1863 from repeated naval and land attacks by Union forces. His influence over Confederate strategy was lessened by his professional relationships with President Jefferson Davis. In April 1865, Beauregard and his commander, General Joseph E. Johnston, convinced Davis, Johnston surrendered most of the remaining armies of the Confederacy, including Beauregard and his men, to Major General William T.
Sherman. Following his military career, Beauregard returned to Louisiana, where he served as a railroad executive, Beauregard was born at the Contreras sugar-cane plantation in St. Bernard Parish, about 20 miles outside New Orleans, to a French Creole family. He had three brothers and three sisters, Beauregard attended New Orleans private schools and went to a French school in New York City. During his four years in New York, beginning at age 12, he learned to speak English and he attended the United States Military Academy at West Point, New York. One of his instructors was Robert Anderson, who became the commander of Fort Sumter. Upon enrolling at West Point, Beauregard dropped the hyphen from his surname and treated Toutant as a middle name, from that point on, he rarely used his first name, preferring G. T. Beauregard. He graduated second in his class in 1838 and excelled both as an artilleryman and military engineer and his Army friends gave him many nicknames, Little Creole, Little Frenchman and Little Napoleon.
During the Mexican–American War, Beauregard served as an engineer under General Winfield Scott and he was appointed brevet captain for the battles of Contreras and Churubusco and major for Chapultepec, where he was wounded in the shoulder and thigh. He was noted for his eloquent performance in a meeting with Scott in which he convinced the general officers to change their plan for attacking the fortress of Chapultepec. He was one of the first officers to enter Mexico City, Beauregard returned from Mexico in 1848. For the next 12 years, he was in charge of what the Engineer Department called the Mississippi, much of his engineering work was done elsewhere, repairing old forts and building new ones on the Florida coast and in Mobile, Alabama. He improved the defenses of Forts St. Philip and Jackson on the Mississippi River below New Orleans and he worked on a board of Army and Navy engineers to improve the navigation of the shipping channels at the mouth of the Mississippi
Georgia (U.S. state)
Georgia is a state in the southeastern United States. It was established in 1733, the last of the original Thirteen Colonies, named after King George II of Great Britain, Georgia was the fourth state to ratify the United States Constitution, on January 2,1788. It declared its secession from the Union on January 19,1861 and it was the last state to be restored to the Union, on July 15,1870. Georgia is the 24th largest and the 8th most populous of the 50 United States, from 2007 to 2008,14 of Georgias counties ranked among the nations 100 fastest-growing, second only to Texas. Georgia is known as the Peach State and the Empire State of the South, Atlanta is the states capital, its most populous city and has been named a global city. Georgia is bordered to the south by Florida, to the east by the Atlantic Ocean and South Carolina, to the west by Alabama, the states northern part is in the Blue Ridge Mountains, part of the Appalachian Mountains system. Georgias highest point is Brasstown Bald at 4,784 feet above sea level, Georgia is the largest state entirely east of the Mississippi River in land area.
Before settlement by Europeans, Georgia was inhabited by the mound building cultures, the British colony of Georgia was founded by James Oglethorpe on February 12,1733. The colony was administered by the Trustees for the Establishment of the Colony of Georgia in America under a charter issued by King George II. The Trustees implemented a plan for the colonys settlement, known as the Oglethorpe Plan. In 1742 the colony was invaded by the Spanish during the War of Jenkins Ear, in 1752, after the government failed to renew subsidies that had helped support the colony, the Trustees turned over control to the crown. Georgia became a colony, with a governor appointed by the king. The Province of Georgia was one of the Thirteen Colonies that revolted against British rule in the American Revolution by signing the 1776 Declaration of Independence, the State of Georgias first constitution was ratified in February 1777. Georgia was the 10th state to ratify the Articles of Confederation on July 24,1778, in 1829, gold was discovered in the North Georgia mountains, which led to the Georgia Gold Rush and an established federal mint in Dahlonega, which continued its operation until 1861.
The subsequent influx of white settlers put pressure on the government to land from the Cherokee Nation. In 1830, President Andrew Jackson signed the Indian Removal Act into law, sending many eastern Native American nations to reservations in present-day Oklahoma, including all of Georgias tribes. Despite the Supreme Courts ruling in Worcester v. Georgia that ruled U. S. states were not permitted to redraw the Indian boundaries, President Jackson and the state of Georgia ignored the ruling. In 1838, his successor, Martin Van Buren, dispatched troops to gather the Cherokee
Benjamin Franklin Butler was an American lawyer, politician and businessman from Massachusetts. He was a colorful and often controversial figure on the stage and in the Massachusetts political scene. Butler, a trial lawyer, served in the Massachusetts legislature as an antiwar Democrat. His commands were marred by financial and logistical dealings across enemy lines, some of which took place with his knowledge. Butler was dismissed from the Union Army after his failures in the First Battle of Fort Fisher, as a Radical Republican he opposed President Johnsons Reconstruction agenda, and was the Houses lead manager in the Johnson impeachment proceedings. As Chairman of the House Committee on Reconstruction, Butler authored the Ku Klux Klan Act of 1871, in Massachusetts, Butler was often at odds with more conservative members of the political establishment over matters of both style and substance. Feuds with Republican politicians led to his being denied several nominations for the governorship between 1858 and 1880, returning to the Democratic fold, he won the governship in the 1882 election with Democratic and Greenback Party support.
He ran for President on the Greenback ticket in 1884, Benjamin Franklin Butler was born in Deerfield, New Hampshire, the sixth and youngest child of John Butler and Charlotte Ellison Butler. He was named after Founding Father Benjamin Franklin and his elder brother, Andrew Jackson Butler, would serve as a colonel in the Union Army during the Civil War and joined him in New Orleans. Butlers mother was a devout Baptist who encouraged him to read the Bible, in 1827, at the age of nine, Butler was awarded a scholarship to Phillips Exeter Academy, where he spent one term. He was described by a schoolmate as a reckless, headstrong, Butlers mother moved the family in 1828 to Lowell, where she operated a boarding house for workers at the textile mills. He attended the schools there, from which he was almost expelled for fighting, the principal describing him as a boy who might be led. He attended Waterville College in pursuit of his mothers wish that he prepare for the ministry, in 1836, Butler sought permission to go instead to West Point for a military education, but did not receive one of the few places available.
He continued his studies at Waterville, where he sharpened his skills in theological discussions. Butler returned to Lowell, where he clerked and read law as an apprentice with a local lawyer and he was admitted to the Massachusetts bar in 1840, and opened a practice in Lowell. After an extended courtship, Butler married Sarah Hildreth, an actress and daughter of Dr. Israel Hildreth of Lowell. They had four children, Blanche and Ben-Israel, Butlers business partners included Sarahs brother Fisher, and her brother-in-law, W. P. Webster. Butler quickly gained a reputation as a criminal defense lawyer who seized on every misstep of his opposition to gain victories for his clients
Confederate States of America
The Confederate States, officially the Confederate States of America, commonly referred to as the Confederacy, was a breakaway country of 11 secessionist slave states existing from 1861 to 1865. It was never recognized as an Independent country, although it achieved belligerent status by Britain. A new Confederate government was established in February 1861 before Lincoln took office in March, after the Civil War began in April, four slave states of the Upper South – Virginia, Arkansas and North Carolina – declared their secession and joined the Confederacy. The government of the United States rejected the claims of secession, the Civil War began with the April 12,1861, Confederate attack upon Fort Sumter, a Union fort in the harbor of Charleston, South Carolina. In spring 1865, after four years of fighting which led to an estimated 620,000 military deaths, all the Confederate forces surrendered. Jefferson Davis lamented that the Confederacy had disappeared in 1865, Missouri and Kentucky were represented by partisan factions from those states, while the legitimate governments of those two states retained formal adherence to the Union.
Also fighting for the Confederacy were two of the Five Civilized Tribes located in Indian Territory and a new, but uncontrolled, Confederate Territory of Arizona. Efforts by certain factions in Maryland to secede were halted by federal imposition of law, while Delaware, though of divided loyalty. A Unionist government in parts of Virginia organized the new state of West Virginia. With the Emancipation Proclamation on January 1,1863, the Union made abolition of slavery a war goal, as Union forces moved southward, large numbers of plantation slaves were freed. Many joined the Union lines, enrolling in service as soldiers and laborers, the most notable advance was Shermans March to the Sea in late 1864. Much of the Confederacys infrastructure was destroyed, including telegraphs, plantations in the path of Shermans forces were severely damaged. Internal movement became increasingly difficult for Southerners, weakening the economy and these losses created an insurmountable disadvantage in men and finance.
Public support for Confederate President Jefferson Daviss administration eroded over time due to repeated military reverses, economic hardships, after four years of campaigning, Richmond was captured by Union forces in April 1865. Shortly afterward, Confederate General Robert E. Lee surrendered to Union General Ulysses S. Grant, President Davis was captured on May 10,1865, and jailed in preparation for a treason trial that was ultimately never held. The U. S. government began a process known as Reconstruction which attempted to resolve the political and constitutional issues of the Civil War. By 1877, the Compromise of 1877 ended Reconstruction in the former Confederate states, Confederate veterans had been temporarily disenfranchised by Reconstruction policy. The prewar South had many areas, the war left the entire region economically devastated by military action, ruined infrastructure
George Gordon Meade was a career United States Army officer and civil engineer involved in the coastal construction of several lighthouses. He fought with distinction in the Second Seminole War and the Mexican–American War, during the American Civil War he served as a Union general, rising from command of a brigade to command of the Army of the Potomac. He is best known for defeating Confederate General Robert E. Lee at the Battle of Gettysburg in 1863, Meades Civil War combat experience started as a brigade commander in the Peninsula Campaign and the Seven Days Battles, including the Battle of Glendale, where he was wounded severely. As a division commander, he had success at the Battle of South Mountain. His division was arguably the most successful during the assaults at the Battle of Fredericksburg, Gen. Ulysses S. Grant, who accompanied him throughout these campaigns. He suffered from a reputation as a man of short, violent temper who was hostile toward the press, after the war, he commanded several important departments during Reconstruction.
George Gordon Meade was born in 1815 in Cádiz and his father, a wealthy Philadelphian merchant, was serving in Spain as a naval agent for the U. S. government. He was ruined financially because of his support of Spain in the Napoleonic Wars and his family returned to the United States in 1817, in precarious financial straits. Young George attended the Mount Hope Institution in Baltimore and entered the United States Military Academy at West Point in 1831 and he graduated 19th in his class of 56 cadets in 1835. His brother, Richard Worsam Meade II, became a naval officer, for a year, he served with the 3rd U. S. Artillery in Florida, fighting against the Seminole Indians, before resigning from the Army and he worked as a civil engineer for the Alabama and Florida Railroad and for the War Department. On December 31,1840, he married Margaretta Sergeant, daughter of John Sergeant, finding steady civilian employment was difficult for the newly married man, so he reentered the army in 1842 as a second lieutenant in the Corps of Topographical Engineers.
After that war he was involved in lighthouse and breakwater construction and coastal surveying in Florida. He designed Barnegat Light on Long Beach Island, Absecon Light in Atlantic City, Cape May Light in Cape May, Jupiter Inlet Light in Jupiter, Florida and he designed a hydraulic lamp that was adopted by the Lighthouse Board for use in American lighthouses. He was promoted to captain in 1856, in 1857, Meade relieved Lt. Col. James Kearney on the Lakes Survey mission of the Great Lakes. Completion of the survey of Lake Huron and extension of the surveys of Lake Michigan down to Grand, prior to Captain Meades command, Great Lakes water level readings were taken locally with temporary gauges, a uniform plane of reference had not been established. In 1858, based on his recommendation, instrumentation was set in place for the tabulation of records across the basin, in 1860, the first detailed report of Great Lakes was published. Meade stayed with the Lakes Survey until the 1861 outbreak of the Civil War and he was assigned command of the 2nd Brigade of the Pennsylvania Reserves, recruited early in the war, which he led competently, initially in the construction of defenses around Washington, D. C